Ian regained strength and became a hurricane – again – Thursday evening. The storm is forecast to hit South Carolina, where a hurricane warning was issued for the entire coast, after leaving massive destruction in Florida.
CBS News confirmed six storm-related deaths in Florida as of early Friday morning.
Ian “could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” President Biden said Thursday.
“The numbers are still unclear, but we’re hearing early reports of what could be substantial loss of life,” the president said after receiving a briefing from FEMA officials.
Ian’s center was about 175 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, as of 2 a.m. Friday. It was moving north-northeast at 10 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Ian is forecast to make landfall somewhere near Charleston, South Carolina, mid-afternoon on Friday, CBS News meteorologist David Parkinson said.
“Major to record river flooding will continue across central Florida through next week,” the hurricane center said. “Considerable flash and urban flooding, and minor river flooding is possible across coastal and northeast South Carolina today.”
Ian is forecast to “rapidly weaken” late Friday and early Saturday, the hurricane center said, as it moves inland across the Carolinas.
On Wednesday, Ian made an initial landfall in southwestern Florida as a major Category 4 hurricane, then tore across the state. It was one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S.
People were trapped in homes. Videos and images showed devastating flooding. And wide swaths of the state — more than 2.2 million homes and businesses — were without power early Friday, according to poweroutage.us.